It is one of the most moving scenes in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, recently successfully staged at Munich's Bavarian State Opera. The role of the unhappy Tatyana is sung by Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais: she is intense, bold, beautiful, and genuine.
"I am not Tatyana, no, I am not Tatyana, I'm not this kind of... calm, shy, woman. I actually never had a situation like that in my life... Ok, I shouldn't say anything bad about myself! Of course I was in love when I was 14, 15, and every week I thought it was for ever but then it was gone... It's difficult to compare myself with Tatyana... I would say that since marrying and having a child, I really feel Tatyana much deeper now," she says.
A determined woman as well as a passionate artist, Kristine admits she is an extremist in everything. "I was born like that. I'm an ‘all or nothing' person! This is not good, of course, the middle-way is always better... but I'm always on the way to find my middle-way!"
In this production reality and imagination blur in the mind of the main male character, haunted by homoerotic fantasies.
"I'm full of passion, so this feeling is always with me, from the second I go on stage, I'm trembling... every performance for me... is the last performance... could be... So I go on stage with this motto – as if it were my last time," says Opolais. "In Munich I have to work hard to get the audience's love, but I'm so happy when I get it! I'm so happy because it's like you're a winner, I always feel that I won and I took their hearts... this is something special!"
Songs by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky
Dmitri Tcherniakov (stage director), Alexander Vedernikov (conductor)
Graham Vick (stage director), Sir Andrew Davis (conductor) – With Nancy Gustafson (Lisa), Yuri Marusin (Herman), Felicity Palmer (The Countess)...
BBC Proms, 1981